Ferry woes continue for KiwiRail

The Stena Alegra, the replacement Interislander ferry for the crippled Aratere, has been plagued by problems since coming into service. Photo / SNPA/Ross Setford
The Stena Alegra, the replacement Interislander ferry for the crippled Aratere, has been plagued by problems since coming into service. Photo / SNPA/Ross Setford

KiwiRail anticipates the damaged Stena Alegra Ferry will be back in operation early next week.

Over the weekend the propeller will be rebalanced by removing the propeller tip on the opposite blade of the damaged one. This is a common solution to this issue, KiwiRail says.

Once this work has been completed and sea trials undertaken, if all parties are satisfied with the ship's performance we anticipate the Stena Alegra will be back in operation early next week.

A permanent repair will be undertaken by the ship's owners when the charter is finished in three months.

Interislander service centre staff are transferring passengers and freight to other sailings and the Kaitaki will do some extra sailings over the weekend.

Passengers are advised to continue to check the Interislander website timetable page on https://www.interislander.co.nz/Timetable.aspx for further updates.

Earlier it was reported that the boat's hull was damaged by a strong southerly while berthing at the Wellington ferry terminal.

KiwiRail has launched an investigation into the incident.

The Stena Alegra is the temporary replacement for the Aratere, which was taken off duty in November after one of its propeller shafts snapped in the Cook Strait.

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